RE: Education (was Re: Fred Reed)

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Mon Aug 06 2001 - 16:07:52 MDT

Brian D Williams wrote,
> I went to a high school (Lane Tech, Chicago) where "shop" was
> amongst the most popular of all classes, probably because you did
> things that were actually useful. (It's a guy thing too.)

Shop classes were very popular in schools I have attended (in Illinois,
Indiana and Florida). I'm not sure why it is not found in some schools,
because it is very common in other schools.

> Our society has so successfully stigmatized the trades that it is
> very difficult to find people to fill these jobs, and contrary to
> social myth, not just anyone will do.
> It is considered very uncool to end up in the trades these days.

I don't think it was uncool. I think computer nerds and science nerds were
uncool, but the shop guys or the jocks never were. I think the real reason
people disdain shop is because it is training for a low-wage job. This is
the free market at work, showing which jobs are more valued (in dollars)
than others. By the way, the jocks with a chance at sports scholarships or
getting drafted were the most popular heroes on campus. They expected to be
rich. Those who could make it into sports or science went to shop.

> >I personally think that 'education'
> >should only be a minor for college students seeking to become
> >teachers in grades K-12, that they should have their major in a
> >real skill area like math, history, or English, etc. Even those
> >who wish to become university professors in Education should have
> >a specialty in a real skill area beyond 'education'.

Believe it or not, this is how it is supposed to be in Florida.
Unfortunately, those who get a real degree in Computer Science can double
their salary by going into industry instead of teaching. As such, the
schools can't get enough teachers with degrees in their fields. They
therefore allow "exemptions" certification of other teachers to fill in, but
only while degreed teachers are not available. I think some schools have
been running over 75% "exception" teachers for many decades now. I even did
some teaching before I graduated under the "exception" exemption because I
was the most qualified computer science teacher they could find at the time.
I taught three high school quarters during my sophomore year of college.

I put myself through college and was studying to be a computer science
teacher. Florida Tech required me to take every class required for a
Computer Science B.S. degree plus extra classes in Education and Psychology
to get certified as a teacher. By the time I reached my Junior year, I was
making more at my after-school job than senior teachers were making. Rather
than continue to take the extra classes and aim for a pay cut when I
graduated, I switched to the pure Computer Science major to have an easier
time graduating and a higher salary after graduating.

Harvey Newstrom <> <>

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